The Six Steps Every First Responder Must Take to Improve Their Fitness in 2021

This is the time of the year that we all tend to reflect on the past and set goals for the next year.  If one of your goals is to get leaner, stronger, and more fit for duty, I want to help you. I have been fortunate to help thousands of first responders over the last 12+ years by following these simple five steps.  Yes, there is more to them, which I will address in later posts, but this will give you a clear process to follow.  Now, the question is:  Will you follow them?

Here are Six steps you need to take to make fitness progress this year.

1.  Lose your excuses.  I like to call this step “cleaning out the junk.” We all have a lot of junk and excuses in our heads that sabotage our fitness.  I understand because I have them myself.  When it comes to fitness and health it is easy to start comparing yourself to others, looking around for better workouts and the best diets.  I think in a lot of cases we search for the solution harder than we work on the solution itself.  So, this year, get all the junk out of your head.  This is your journey.  Be honest with where you are currently and set a realistic goal.  You can lose 10 pounds this year, you can get stronger and leaner and you can make 2021 a healthier year.  We all have them, stop letting them stand in your way. Lose your excuses in 2021 and decide to commit to your fitness.

And by cleaning out the junk I also mean clean out all the foods that sabotage your fitness progress.  Get them out of your house, lose the high sugar, high fat foods and replace them with some fruits, vegetables, and healthy options.  Out of sight and out of mind.  If you have kids, stop using them as an excuse.  We all should be eating healthier!


2.  Get/ create a plan.  This is where most people fail.  Do not just start working out by doing the "workout of the day" or your "buddies" plan. Or even worse, do not go back to the “old routine” that you used to always do.  We all have exercises and a routine we gravitate toward because we are comfortable with them.  Make this year different.  Get out of your comfort zone and train differently.  If you have been doing the typical chest and triceps, legs, and abs routines, change it up and train more like a fire rescue athlete!  Challenging your body in new ways can help maximize your progress. By challenge, I do not mean just new exercises, either.  Find a workout program that will help you accomplish your goals and will work with your lifestyle.  FRF can help you with this step.

3.  Eat like an athlete.  You cannot out-train a bad diet.  Fitness progress happens in the gym and the kitchen.  One of the things you do not want to do is waste your time in the gym by following it up with poor nutrition. Make sure you prepare your meals, watch for added sugars, hydrate and mind your portions. And one of the best ways to stay on-track is to plan a cheat meal each week.  This will help you avoid burn-out.

4.  Get support. One of the best ways to ensure success is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals.  Tell your family, friends, and crew about your fitness goals.  Challenge those around you to join your quest for better health and fitness.  I think you will be surprised at the support you will get.  This will also make it easy to follow better nutrition if everyone is eating healthy.

Speaking of a contest.  FRF is challenging 2100 first responders to lose 10 pounds or more in 2021.  Accomplish your goal and get a 21K Challenge coin and a chance to win prizes.  Entry includes a workout program, eating guides, recipes, coaching and support.  Proceeds of the Challenge fund prizes and a donation to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.  Click here for more information.

5.  Execute your plan.   This is the hard step. You must set aside time every day to work on your health. The one thing that every FRF success story  has in common is that they made the commitment and did whatever it took to create a healthier environment.

So, start to prepare healthy meals and snacks, make sure to carve out time for your workouts, eat like an athlete and make progress every day.  It is time to GET FIRE RESCUE FIT!

The key to your fitness success is consistency.  Stop looking for quick fixes and fad diets, commit to making workouts and good nutrition a part of your lifestyle.

6.  Remember this is YOUR Journey! The last and probably most important step you need to take to make 2021 a year that you will excel in is: This is your journey, not someone else's. Stop comparing yourself to other people and go at your own pace.  No one else has your exact situation going on, so it is impossible to compare yourself to anyone else.  The moment you start looking at what everyone else can do or has is the moment you lose perspective on what YOU are trying to accomplish.  When we get the comparison game going, that is when we usually end up feeling worse about ourselves, and often this feeling can lead us to giving up entirely.

Evaluate your progress every 30-days, reward yourself for your smaller victories and re-work your plan if you are not where you want to be.   This is a process and a journey, enjoy the ride!

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.  Let me know how I can help you accomplish your fitness goals in 2021.

-Aaron "ZAM" Zamzow

PS- My goal is to help 2100 first Responders get more fit in 2021.  If you are looking to lose 10 pounds, add strength, lose bodyfat and/ or improve your performance on the fire/ rescue scene, let me know how I can help you.  Click here to send me a message and I will find the best program for you.

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